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Complications after Gastric Sleeve Surgery

on 3/25/10 12:03 am
Hi all!

I am about 8 days Post Op from Gastric Sleeve Surgery.  I am experiencing what I am hoping are just minor complications that can be resolved...hopefully someone out there can give me some pointers or advice.  For starters I am having really bad is so bad its hard for me to consume pureed food.  At first I thought it was just gas...but I would think that by now I would be gas free.  I have tried chewable gas x but haven't had any luck.  In addition, I am entirely constipated...the doctor suggested milk of magnesia and told me to drink more fluid...hoping that will work. Also, my stomach still seems this normal?  Finally, I am a week out and down 3 lbs is that a normal amount of weight?

I just feel like although I did a lot homework prior to having the surgery...there are still a lot of things I wasn't aware of...such as the indigestion.  I have so much hurts.  I tried eating soft eggs this evening but my indigestion was so bad I couldn't get it down. 

Any tips or advice you can offer would be very much appreciated. 

Also any stage II diet tips would be appreciated...I don't want to eat mashed potatoes but I am getting tired of soup.

on 3/25/10 12:35 am - Canada
That sounds a lot like what happened to me.  I could barely even ge****er down, let alone any food. Call your surgeon's office and talk about the indigestion. Mine ended up prescribing me an anti-acid medication (pantoprazole), and an anti-nausant (metoclop) that also helps "push things through" your digestive tract.   Once I started those meds, I felt 1000000000000x better!  Now I only am taking pantoprazole, but am hoping I'll be off it soon too).  I didn't even think it was stomache acid because it was so strange a feeling, but the meds worked like a charm and I'm finally able to eat!
on 3/25/10 2:35 am
This is off the subject, but i had my vsg on 2/22/10 & i'm only down 26 lbs, how did u lose so much already??
Its great, i want to do that too..
on 3/25/10 2:41 am - Livonia, MI
You've only lost 26 pounds in a month......? Why on earth are you complaining! Keep that up and you would loose over 200 in 8 months....Everyone looses at their own pace. It's much more than you would have lost prior to surgery.
on 3/25/10 3:26 am
ok ok... i know, i need to be patient... actually was looking at the post from the woman in Canada, looks like she lost 70 lbs in a month, unless she posted her highest weight not surgery weight.
thanks for the reality check. lol
on 3/25/10 9:09 am - Canada
The weight posted is my highest weight... since surgery I've lost 32 lbs. I've been stalled for like a week now :(
(deactivated member)
on 8/3/14 7:06 am

It's "lose,' dear, not "loose." Loose is how your skin will be after weight loss!

on 3/25/10 12:37 am
Are you on an acid reducer? If not, get some ask your surgeon what he recommends.

I was still on clear liquids at this stage so there is no way that I could have even remotely considered soft solids. Yes, your stomach is swollen. 8 days ago, it was traumatized, stapled off, and the majority of it was excised from your body. It's gonna take several weeks for the healing process to finalize. Miralax works great for constipation. I've only had to use it a couple of times since surgery, but it's great stuff. Everybody's weight loss is different. Your body will lose the weight, give it some time to recovery.

Stage 2 foods do you mean mushies/purees?

If so:
Refried beans
Greek Yogurts
Soft cheese (laughing cow brand if it's available in your area)
Pureed steamed/boiled veggies ( I would avoid corn since it can be difficult to digest for some)
soft/pureed tofu
Egg drop soup
SF pudding
Cottage Cheese with pureed fruit or SF Smuckers jelly

Band to VSG revision: June 3, 2009
SW 270lbs GW 150lbs CW Losing Pregancy Weight Maintenance goal W 125-130lbs

on 3/25/10 4:36 am, edited 3/25/10 4:36 am
I was on clear liquids and skim milk for almost 4 weeks after surgery. No way I could have eaten soft eggs or pureed food that early out.  But I know every doctor is different.

I'd slow it down and just deal with the soup.

I wanted to add in, the skim milk kept my bowels moving the whole time early out, was a real PIA!
Be humble or you will stumble.
on 3/25/10 5:02 am - Atlanta GA
VSG on 12/17/09 with
I could not do the recommended daily aspirin for 3 months as it tore my stomach up, so I stopped taking those.  Try acid inhibitors such as Prilosec or Prevasid twice a day, along with protonics.  For constipation, try Miralax, Dulcolax, and if worst comes to worst, do fleet enema.  They really work and I've had to do it twice since my surgery. Once I started eating solids the constipation abated although I still add Miralax to a beverage (it's totally tasteless) every couple of days.  And yes, it's normal to have "only" lost 3# the first week. I was swollen from IV fluids post-surgery and I had to lose tha****er weight gain of about 8# before I started losing the real fat.  This too will pass and you will be fine.  BTW, eating instant mashed potatoes will not cause any weight gain and you won't be able to eat more than 1/2 cup (and I'm being generous) at a time.  Just know your lack of appetite may not be associated with what you're eating but rather because really you have no hunger -- and that's what the sleeve is supposed to do so you know it's working!
HW/256  SW/233  CW/151  GW/140 or less
G/BMI=25 or less, normal weight

1st goal = 215#, MET   2nd goal = Onederland, MET  
3rd goal = 175#, MET   4th goal = > BMI of 29.9, MET  
5th goal = 155#, MET Final WL goal = 140# or less and  normal BMI
on 3/25/10 5:12 am
VSG on 09/30/09 with
I was not allowed pureed foods until the third week after surgery, clear liquids and popsicles, then full liquids, then pureed, then solid. Each progression was for 10 days. Try some wonton soup broth, it's very flavorful and satisfying. Maybe it was just too soon for heavier things. I also had lots of sugar free fruit bars from Edys. I hope you feel better soon!

7 lbs. lost preop included in total
on 3/25/10 5:20 am
step back to liquids only for a while.  I was on liquids for 2 weeks and still took some time to move up to pureed foods

on 3/25/10 6:03 am - Loveland, OH
VSG on 03/10/09 with
My doctor prescribed me Prilosec for the very same thing.....and I buy the generic (walmart brand) and it works WONDERS.  I have a feeling I will probably be on it for a long time....but I don't mind.  Try that and see if it helps!!! 
Bonnie B.
on 3/25/10 6:34 am - Dayton, OH
I lived on pumpkin custards with a little whipped cream on top for my soft food phase. Here's a recipe that I used.  I did try mixing in protein powder but didn't like the texture as much.
Anyway, I'm 5 months out and down 74 pounds. I'm one pound away from a weight that starts with a 1. :) I'm 9 pounds away from oly being overweight instead of obese or morbidly obese. I feel really good.  
Lisa J.
on 3/25/10 7:31 am - OK
You aren't really having "complications" at all. You're having some discomfort which is typical after surgery...yes, gas and constipation and indigestion can crop up with anyone but these are typical symptoms of having a major surgery such as a VSG.

You really REALLY need to stick to liquids for another week then the'll be fine just getting in your required liquid protein and that will take some doing. OF COURSE your stomach is swollen! How can it not be????? So stay away from the pureed food for now, just be kind to your new tummy. Don't pu**** I know you're bored with just soup but get a grip, it's not forever. I can't imagine doing eggs or mashed potatoes at 8 days out!! You might have issues after a month with either of those. And you won't shrivel away, don't worry about it. It's not forever!!

You're having head hunger and you need to find other things to occupy yourself rather than thinking you have to eat. I know it's hard to wrap your brain around the fact that you think you need to eat and how could you get through this time without eating blah blah blah..we all have, we all did, and you will too. Just concentrate on the liquids, get as much as you can, add protein in liquid form as well and slowly but surely you'll discover time has passed, you'll start to feel better before you know it.

I know that for me, and probably for anyone else on here, waiting for that surgery was HARD and now we expect it to just start falling off, and it WILL but give it some time...your weight will fluctuate for several months, mostly going down but you will experience weeks when you only lose 1 or 2 lbs or 10 or 12 and there's NO TELLING when it happens or how long you experience it.

You probably DID do a lot of research and again, there's no telling who will experience more gas and more indigestion compared to another patient, so just BE patient, tell your doc and you'll be fine.
Lisa J
HW: 277   Day of Surgery: 234    CW: 161 Goal: 135 sounds good but....? Who knows!

HW/277   EVAL/260  PREOP/246  SURGERY DAY/243   CW/162 1/3/2011
on 3/25/10 9:54 am - Alvaton, KY
Are you on an anti acid medication?  Most experienced surgeons put their patients on a medication to control acid production (called proton pump inhibitors or PPI's).  This is a problem for many sleeve patients.

Prilosec and similar medications are called for in order to control this.  I would contact your surgeon immediately, and ask for a prescription (or pick it up at a pharmacy) and see if that does not help.

A former Army Medic (1959-1969), Registered Nurse (1969-2000), College Instructor (1984-1989) and a retired Rehabilitation Counselor.  I am also a dual citizen of the USA and Canada.

High Weight 412 lbs.                    Date of Surgery 360.5                                 Present  170 lbs   

on 3/25/10 10:50 am
I loved ricotta cheese with some Ragu Traditional mixed in. I warmed it in the microwave. It was yummy.
on 3/25/10 7:41 pm, edited 3/25/10 7:42 pm - Cayman Islands
Although I never had to do this, my doctor warned me that I may get to one stage but would not be ready for it, and may have to go back one or even two stages. I can't imagine eating eggs or mashed potatoes at that stage (could only eat mashed potatoes at 4 weeks, and have only been able to tolerate eggs this past week).  I know every doctor is different in their instructions, but if what he tells you isn't working for you, then you have to go back a stage and do what you know is right for you.  Everyone is different and can tolerate different things at different stages.

Remember that your stomach is now very tiny and on top of that is still quite swollen from the surgery. It may even be the food you're eating that's causing the gas. Try to stick with small amounts of liquids every 15 mins - broth, water, Gatorade, decaffeineited, sugar-free tea, etc. My doctor prescribed Nexium for stomach acid and it works wonders for me, although I wasn't allowed to swallow pills for 21 days after surgery, but Nexium is dissolvable.

Just be patient and take your time. You will get there, and it will all be worth it. Believe us!
on 3/29/10 3:39 pm
Hi guys,

Thanks for all the responses.  However, I just want to clarify that the my doctor is the one who told me to eat pureed food.  I guess every doctor is different.  I actually couldn't leave the hospital until I was able to tolerate pureed food.  I just wanted to clarify this because I didn't want anyone to think I was trying to rush through the stages.  I thought it was a bit odd too, but my doctor and nutrionist was clear that I needed to be on pureed food the first month.   A little update:  I still have indigestion...I purchased chewable pepcid ac and mylanta.  It helps but I have some discomfort.  Some good news...the constipation stopped...but now I have a bit of diaherra...who knows.  I am about two weeks out and down about 7lbs.   I know everyone's body is different and so I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens.  Anyway...thanks again for all the responses.
on 4/2/13 5:33 am

Hi, all..   Rebel , I hope this helps I'm new to the sleeve myself as of March 20th 2013 i had my sleeve done i started my journey on 2008 due to my  insurance we need not get into that ,lol I'm now 13 days post op and was told that i had to wait until April 4 to see the dietitian before starting any kind of pureed foods..... I take a vitamin d and a  delayed release acid reducer 20 mg every morning and "sip", not gulp not chug  water  every chance i can. I carry a water bottle like its my best friend my liquid diet consist of carnation instant breakfast with fat free milk again small sips, chicken broth, SF jello  and water +water +water I found out when i get gassy or bloated walking helps no need to enter a walk a thon just get up and a move around the house kinda thing works for me very tuff diet but pre op 290 lb  post op 265 lb i hope you find what your looking for ,keep up the good fight ask if you don't know and good luck my friend.......